Ali Jafarian

New Year, New Commitments

Episode Number 004
Duration 17 min

Happy 2022 to everyone!

This is a quick solo episode around creating new commitments for the new year. I share my process around vision, goals and commitments to set 2022 up for success. Enjoy 🙂


Welcome back ladies and gents, happy new year to everyone. We have just turned the corner into 2022, and it is a beautiful day here in Denver, Colorado. The sun is out. There's fresh snow on the ground. I just finished a nice walk out in nature with my family, and it felt like the perfect time to record a new podcast.

So today we're going to talk about commitments, specifically new commitments. As we head into the new year, the new year, this turning point offers a really perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on what you've achieved over the last 12 months, and then refocus for the next 12 months. Everyone has their own unique way of doing this, but today I'm going to share my process and some of the things that have helped me do this over the last few years with success.

And so at the high level, my process involves first doing a personal audit of progress I made over the last year. Then getting clear on my current vision and what I want that to look like, heading into 22 and realizing that towards the end of 22, by mapping out specific goals and commitments. And some people like to tie this to vision exercises like me, others will tie it to inspiration for changing, you know, re identifying.

And other people just have a systemized way of tackling this, whether it's through new year's resolutions or some other method at the end of the day, I don't think it matters. What is important is finding your specific why, which will inform the way that you do this and then getting clear on your commitments and how you want to take them on.

So let's jump in.

First and foremost, I think it's important to distinguish between commitments and thoughts. A thought for example, can be a simple idea or temporary feeling. This usually is associated with short-term desires or impulses, and honestly, thoughts don't last very long. If they do, tend to evolve into something else.

Whereas a commitment is something you take action on and you can measure it. This is usually associated with long-term goals, habit changes, or larger identity shifts, like I mentioned, and some quick examples to help you compare and contrast these is that let's say I want to eat healthier. This is a thought versus no alcohol for 30 days. That's a commitment.

I want to travel more. Another thought, verse, I want to take for family trips. This is a commitment. I want to work less. Basic thought verse, no work on Fridays. That is a commitment. And so you start to see declare distinction. Between just having these basic ideas or thoughts and then actually committing to something more concrete.

And, we have thoughts all day long and they can be distracting. They can even be consuming. Whereas a commitment is something that's rooted in a deeper desire to change or evoke a different version of ourselves.

And so let's jump into my commitments.

I actually just finished doing this with my wife. We had an awesome meeting where we got together and looked at 2022 and what we wanted to accomplish. And this was a mix of vision goals, commitments, which we're going to talk about. And then some other things that have just been kind of revolving thoughts that we wanted to put some energy into and really map out for this year.

And to start, I'll give you the high level of my vision. Now to be clear, vision exercises can be very comprehensive. These can go into designing your perfect day, realizing achievements or specific outcomes. I'm not going to share all that with you. That would be an entire episode in itself.

Instead, I'm just going to give you a summary of my vision for 2022, and it includes this.

Prioritize health with more awareness and discipline on what goes into my body.

An increased pursuit of my spiritual side.

More intentional family time and unique experiences.

Less work and responsibilities with more delegation and efficiency.

And then more space to fuel my creative side and start to surrender to what life presents.

These are just five key bullet points that I pulled out of a lot of my vision work. And then to go into the next level to break that down, I have different goals mapped out to help realize this. And again, I have a lot of these, I'm just going to share a few of them with you, so you start to get the idea.

One goal is to stabilize my vitamin D and B12 levels. They are low right now, and I want to get those back up to normal levels, which is something that can be realized and measured.

Four family trips. One international, if possible. Again, another concrete goal.

Hike five new fourteeners out here in Colorado.

Record 50 podcasts episodes.

Log 25 freedom Fridays, basically twice per month where I do no work and just completely choose what I like to take on for that day.

And then other things as flexible as saving a specific amount of money or investing in something or getting a business to a certain revenue. These are all other goals that are in my world, but it would take a bit longer to share all this.

So I will leave us there and now get into the third level, which is commitments. Right? And I break these out in terms of different categories, like health, mind, family, social wealth, et cetera. So to kind of shoot from the top.

Some of my commitments on the health side are a sweets free January. This is 30 days committed to no sweets. And my whole family is on this, which is awesome. We have already started this. We are relieving ourselves of eating anything like cookies, cake, ice cream, etc. And going to sort of cleanse the sweets for 30 days.

Drinking mushroom coffee five times a week. I have this awesome ground mushroom powder from the company, Real Mushrooms. And I plan to put that in my morning coffee or tea five days a week.

Daily sun and sweat. This is a cool commitment that I'm already doing. I just want to make sure that this stays in my lifestyle and that's getting 10,000 steps in at least every day, grabbing some sun time every day, even if it's for a few minutes and sweating, if possible.

And one last one on the health side is around supplements and blood work is scheduling doctor visits every three months. So four for the whole year. And that way I can track through blood work to see if I'm getting my vitamin D and B12 levels back up to those stable levels I mentioned to my goal.

Some things on the mindfulness side. Morning meditation. This means every morning, spending seven to 10 minutes in stillness with myself.

Weekly journaling. Every single Saturday getting out my pen and paper or keyboard, sometimes I take notes in Evernote, and journaling for 30 minutes every single Saturday.

Then on the family side, lot of cool things chocked up here in terms of commitment. And I'll say we, because my wife has bought into a lot of this and we just reviewed this this morning, which was awesome.

So weekly family board meetings. Every Sunday we will meet anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. And it's a way for us to discuss the week ahead, to share wins, to review a lot of this stuff in terms of are we tracking against our goals and vision for our family.

Monthly date nights with Gabrielle. Making sure that those are on the calendar and not just talked about, but actually scheduled once per month.

Monthly board meeting with the kiddos. This is a three to four hour experience where I take one of my kids. We go and do something fun together and involves a meal and an activity. It's phone free, distraction-free. And I strongly recommend these. This actually comes from The Family Board Meetings book by Jim Sheils, which hall of fame classic in Front Row Dads. We talk about a lot. And so if you're having checked that book out, I strongly, strongly recommend it.

And then the annual weekend getaway with Gabrielle. So this is a two to three day experience where we just get to connect and be kid-free somewhere local ish, where we can get to in a couple hours, check out for a weekend.

Some other things on the social side is attending at least two Front Row Dad retreats, which I've honored in past years.

Attending three online summits, and then attending an additional retreat in terms of something where I can work on myself or work on my social side with other people.

Human connection is a big part I didn't really mention my vision. Just having a lot of awareness and realization that I want 20 22 to be more of a year where I connect at the deeper human level and reduce my time on devices and technology.

And on the professional side, a few things. So again, there's a lot that goes into this for me in terms of vision and goal mapping professionally, because I have multiple businesses and different commitments.

But in summary, a lot of the vision I've created for myself on a professional side for 2022 goes back to being more of a creator. Having the space to see what life sends me and become more intentional to kind of work on what I really want to work on while still upholding my responsibilities and leading my teams and being involved in the things that still rely on me.

So some of the professional things are sending out a biweekly email. Every other week I want to send a personal email, just what's in focus with latest blog articles, latest podcast episodes. And as it relates to that recording weekly. Every week I will record a podcast like this, whether it's this, one of these solo recordings or a guest interview.

And blogging weekly. I've mapped two blog posts per month as my commitment, and that will require weekly writing.

There's also simplification involved here. I come from a history of taking on a lot and building this skill set to be able to diversify and work on tons of things. And at this point I'm really down to two businesses.

One of which playing a more silent adviser role heading into 20 22, one of which I'm still playing at a heavy leader slash CEO role, and then I'm introducing some coaching.

So this coaching is going to build upon some initial coaching I've done the last few years for my membership e-commerce clients, and then rolling in some new conscious leadership that I picked from the conscious leadership group and just being a student of mindfulness and in general. So this is something that really excites me. And in that realm, I've sort of mapped out some goals to have. Right around five coaching clients, max. Developing an MVP framework that I feel good about as I continue to learn in this realm.

And then on the leadership side of my businesses, saying no to anything that is very intense and requires Ali only. So trying to really focus on team efforts. Hiring for a couple of new roles, there are some things that the business will need heading into 2022. And so getting ahead of that and thinking proactively, and that leads into more delegation and team building.

The last piece there as well as establishing a marketing engine. And this is where we come back to some more concrete commitments. Creating weekly marketing content. So publishing two to three blog posts a month, resources guides, anything that is educational on the content side. And then sending out a monthly marketing email and committing to that.

That's something that I've fallen off the horse with before and in 2022 I want to really commit to the writing the recording and then sending out emails to stay top of mind.

And that's it. That's just a few of the things, like I said in a much broader, more detailed outline of commitments.

And after sharing that, I want to now give you a few tips and tricks that I've used over the years to honor these commitments.

The first thing, number one, create measurable goals and then track against them. For example, let's say you're committing to some type of dieting or exercise. Download an app that helps you track that. Or write it down. If you're a writer, write it down in a journal and find a way to track against a measurable goal, whether it's X workouts per week or X amount of protein, fat, carbs, et cetera.

Another example is creating spreadsheets when there's things related to work or professional goals. You don't always have to download an app or technology, instead start simple, create a spreadsheet and track things from sales to deals, to projects, et cetera. Track that so you can stay accountable to them.

Number two is identify commitments that can be put on a calendar and then scheduled them. So this one's a little bit simpler. Anything that can be scheduled like trips, vacations, or retreats block this time off in advance. Especially if it's weekly or monthly commitments that you know are going to be recurring.

I like to do this about three months out. So today I already mapped out a bunch of things. Put them on the schedule, blocked off the time. That feels like the right cadence for me, but do whatever feels right for you. You know, regardless the point is that identify things that can definitely put on the calendar and then schedule them.

Number three is finding healthy ways to be held accountable. So humans will always fail themselves, or at least we're more likely to fail ourselves than we are to fail others. This is proven. So finding an accountability partner or team. Anything, whether it's a spouse, a friend, a mentor, find someone that you can share these with. Like I said, my wife and I shared ours this morning. We became very aligned. And that way you will have stronger accountability and someone to support you on.

And number four is leveraged technology or systems that will help you. And that last part is key. Like I mentioned before, don't go download a bunch of apps or sign up for new tools just because you think they will, but actually leverage technology and systems when you know that they're going to help you achieve and honor some of these commitments.

An example for me is a smartwatch. I've had several of them over the last few years and the reason that I value these and use them as they help me game-ify my fitness. I track my steps. I can track sleeping patterns. I can check a variety of things that keeps health and fitness top of mind. And it truly does help me honor these commitments as opposed to kind of distract me or just be another thing to have.

Another example of my family is that we bought a Vitamix years ago when we got really serious and intentional about our health. And this Vitamix has been a game changer. I mean, you can do juices, smoothies. My wife makes this amazing queso cheese with cashews and other fresh ingredients. The Vitamix is literally the technology that makes this possible, makes it faster, makes it efficient.

Those are just a few tips that might work for you. Again, to reiterate number one, create measurable goals and track against them. Number two, identify commitments that can be put on a calendar and then schedule them. Three, find healthy ways to be held accountable. And four, leverage technology or systems that will actually help you.

And overall, I just would encourage you to think about your commitments and then take action on them. Outline them, plan them. For me, I create Google docs and then I like to sit with them and process them in nice thought whether it's meditation or just taking walks and making sure they feel right.

And then prioritize this. Get it done now while the iron is hot, while the new year's just turned so you can feel really good about heading into 2022 with a fresh start.

So I will leave you with one question. What are you committing to this year and why?

As always thank you for joining me. I appreciate your attention and hope you have a wonderful 2022.

Ali Jafarian

Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.

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